Drought Continues To Intensify Across The Southwest
Climatologists said drought will likely intensify across the southwestern United States through the spring, and expand into parts of California and eastern Texas.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- or NOAA -- said drought conditions seen so far this year are worse than the two previous years. Half of the United States was in some stage of drought in February compared with 39 percent the same time last year.
David Brown, the regional climate services director for NOAA, said for the last three years the Southwest has experienced historical drought conditions and temperatures continue to climb.
"Increasing temperatures over the next couple decades mean when we do have drought — and we will have drought, we always have — the impacts of the droughts may be more intense because of that increase in the underlying temperatures," Brown said.
While there have been comparisons to the Dust Bowl drought of the 1930s, Brown said that period lasted nine years. Researchers warned that there’s only a 20 percent chance this drought will end in the next six months.